Broadcom says Qualcomm violated duty to standards group

A U.S. jury ruled that a failure by Qualcomm Inc. to disclose two patents to a video standards group means the company waived its rights to enforce the patents, which are now part of the H.264 video compression standard, Broadcom Corp. said Thursday.

Qualcomm, a leading developer of wireless chips, had a "clear duty to speak" and divulge the two patents to the Joint Video Team standards setting group, according to excerpts from the San Diego court opinion provided by Broadcom.

The court will reconvene on May 2, to hear arguments on an appropriate remedy in the case.

Qualcomm said it was troubled by the finding that it was obliged to make intellectual property rights (IPR) declarations based on the unwritten understandings of the group, because the company did not violate any rules in the standard setting organization's written IPR policy.

"We respectfully disagree with the court's reasoning that strict compliance with a standards body's written IPR policy is not enough," Qualcomm said in a statement.

Broadcom, which also develops wireless chips, has been engaged in patent battles with Qualcomm since 2005, when it accused Qualcomm of infringing 10 of its technology patents. Qualcomm responded with its own infringement suit and the companies have been fighting ever since.

Earlier this week, Broadcom asked the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to ban the import of mobile phones containing Qualcomm processors because of patent infringement.

Prior to the mobile phone case, the two companies had settled several patent disputes, including on four patents in February and another 10 earlier this month.

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